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Based on the biography “Enzo Ferrari: The Man and the Machine” by Brock Yates, Mann’s “Ferrari” is set during the summer of 1957 as the eponymous racer and entrepreneur (Adam Driver) must overcome threats of bankruptcy, divorce and the death of his son to save his business. Ferrari bets all on the Mile Miglia, a 1,000 mile-race across Italy. Also starring Penélope Cruz as Laura Ferrari, the supporting cast includes Shailene Woodley, Gabriel Leone, Sarah Gadon, Jack O’Connell, Patrick Dempsey and Giuseppe Bonifati. Mann shot the film on location in Ferrari’s hometown of Modena.
Although the film premiered during the SAG-AFTRA strike, the cast was technically allowed to do press since it’s an indie movie from distributor Neon. However, Driver was the only big star in attendance at Venice, and made headlines at the film’s press conference for proudly defending the SAG-AFTRA waivers that allowed him to attend the festival and promote the film.
“Why is it that a smaller distribution company like Neon and STX International can meet the dream demands of what SAG is asking for — this is pre-negotiations — the dream version of SAG’s wishlist, but a big company like Netflix and Amazon can’t?” Driver asked the press. “And every time people from SAG go and support a movie that has met the terms of the interim agreement, it just makes it more obvious that these people are willing to support the people that they collaborate with, and the others are not.”f
Variety hailed “Ferrari” as “gripping and masterful” in its Venice review, calling it “heady, intricately dark and raptly absorbing.”